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By John McCallum
A young cricket star with Campbeltown connections has been starring for Scotland under-19s in the team’s quest to qualify for the World Cup.
Teenager Liam Naylor – who lives in Liverpool but whose mother Marie Naylor is originally from Campbeltown – and his compatriots have been in The Netherlands for a week-long qualifying round that has seen them take on the host country, as well as Ireland, France, Jersey and Denmark.
And while Liam, 17, began playing the game in Merseyside with Alder Cricket Club at the age of 5, rising through the ranks to turn out for the club’s first team as a seam bowler at 13, he has since earned a two-year scholarship to play cricket and study sport at the Wellington School, in Taunton, Somerset, after being scouted by Steffan Jones, a household name in English county cricket as a fast bowler, and as a coach in Indian cricket for Rajasthan Royals.
As an avid Liverpool FC fan, Liam regularly attends matches at Anfield with his mum, sister Hannah and football-mad dad Phil Naylor, but Marie explained how Liam’s love for batting sports also runs in the family.
Marie said: ‘I spent many happy summers playing rounders with my friends on Meadows Field growing up, and coming back to Campbeltown Liam would always want to play cricket – not rounders, but cricket – on that same field.
‘Liam has already represented Scotland under-17s, so to go away with the under-19s is another really exciting opportunity. We’re really proud of him.’
Earlier in the week, Liam and teammates defeated both the Netherlands and Jersey, with all-rounder Liam scoring a superb 53 runs against the Channel Islanders. The group winners will qualify for next year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Full details can be found at icc-cricket.com
Liam is the grandson of Douglas McKerral, and the late Willie McKerral, of Meadows Avenue, Campbeltown.
Liam Naylor batting at the stumps. NO_B31cricket01
Liam is hoping for a place in the Scotland squad. NO_B31cricket02
Liam in action at the crease. NO_B31cricket03
Liam makes a fine catch fielding. NO_B31crick04